Keeping Score

Velma Jackson eliminates Pass Christian in 3A semifinal

Pass Christian's pursuit of a Class 3A boys title came to an end this afternoon in Jackson.

Velma Jackson's Moses Greenwood hit a single free throw in overtime to clip Pass Christian, 37-36, in a semifinal match at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Pass Christian junior Dimitri Cook's shot attempt just missed its mark as time ran out in overtime.

The Pirates couldn't quite overcome a rough first half that led to an 18-8 deficit at halftime. The Pirates scored no points in the first quarter and trailed 5-0 after the first eight minutes.

“We've had a handful of games this year scattered through the middle part of the season when we struggled scoring,” Pass Christian coach Buddy Kennedy said. “I felt like we showed some mental toughness to come back. But we had to fight up hill. We kind of relaxed a little bit in the second half.”

Cook was the lone Pirate to score in double digits with 15 points to go along with a game-high four assists.

“It was a great season,” Cook said. “We worked hard every day.”

Kendarius Smith led Velma Jackson, the No. 1 seed out of the north, with 15 points while Greenwood put in 12 points and eight assists.

Pass Christian (25-8) now begins the transition back to Class 4A after spending two years in 3A.

“I think we'll be fine,” Kennedy said. “The last 4A game we played was for the 4A state championship. I think we'll be fine. We've got some good young guys coming up. Of course, we're losing a really good group of seniors that have been with us a long time. We'll be young next year, but we'll put in a lot of work between now and next year.”

Velma Jackson improved to 26-8 with the win and will play the winner of tonight's Forest-Booneville game at 2:30 p.m. on Friday for the 3A state title.